In order to start a business in the Old Dominion, it is mandatory that you find a good LLC (limited liability company) formation service to assist you with your business formation process.
The right LLC formation service will help you file your articles of organization with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) and alert you to forthcoming compliance deadlines, such as filing your annual report.
The wrong LLC formation service will delay your business registration process and swindle you out of your money while offering substandard services.
I’ve investigated the 10 major LLC formation services in the state of Virginia through a four-stage, five-factor review process to try and find out which is the best. Here are my findings.
* All prices mentioned below do not include the state filing fee
1. Northwest Registered Agent: 9.45/10 (Best Overall LLC Service)
Northwest Registered Agent is the best LLC service in Virginia. Its formation package offers a wide range of services at a very affordable price. It also provides the best customer support in the industry.
For just $39, Northwest’s formation package will assist you in filing your articles of organization with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), assist you with drafting your operating agreement, provide a free, three-month trial of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service that allows you to make cheap phone calls using your broadband connection, and a free year of registered agent service.
This package also includes compliance alerts that notify you when you need to file important reports, a business tax consultation with its in-house accounting department, and it also gets you a business name and address in Virginia.
It also has more comprehensive services that are available for purchase when needed. These include a Certificate of Good Standing, assistance with applying for an employer identification number, and access to state-certified copies of your formation documents.
Northwest’s formation package usually costs $225, but BoostSuite readers can get an 82% discount if they click on my dedicated link to Northwest’s sign-up page. This brings down the price to $39 which makes Northwest Registered Agent the best value LLC formation service on this list.
Northwest’s most salient feature has to be its customer support.
While most companies outsource their support services to call centers in foreign countries, Northwest has a team of highly experienced Corporate Guides comprising former accountants, lawyers and small business owners who are well versed in the process of starting and running a business in Virginia.
They not only assist you with your business formation process but they also go an extra mile and provide industry-leading small business advice that will come in handy when running your business entity in Virginia.
One drawback about Northwest Registered Agent’s services is that it doesn't provide any services that assist your Virginia LLC in building an online presence such as a personalized business website, email hosting, and domain name registration.
But this is not a major issue since you can get these services from a number of websites such as Squarespace and Wix.
Northwest Registered Agent is the best LLC formation service in Virginia. Its highly discounted $39 formation package provides all the services you need to form your limited liability company and its highly experienced Corporate Guides provide top-notch small business advice that will assist you in running your Virginia LLC.
If you are in the market for an affordable and reliable LLC formation service that also provides great customer support, visit Northwest Registered Agent today and get an 82% discount on its formation package.
2. ZenBusiness: 8.25/10 (Best Essentials LLC Service)
ZenBusiness has the lowest cost in the industry at $0, but it’s ultimately more expensive than it appears because it doesn’t provide small business advice or free registered agent service.
For a paltry $0 (plus annual registration fee), ZenBusiness provides all the services necessary to form an LLC. It will confirm that all the information on your paperwork is accurate, check to see if your company name is available for use, and submit your formation documents with the State Corporation Commission.
You can look at its other bundles if you require other services. The $199 Pro plan includes expedited filing (four to six days), as well as help with your company’s operating agreement. Additionally, the $299 Premium plan’s extras include rush filing (within one to two days), an email account, a domain name, and a tool for creating personalized websites.
It also has US-based customer support agents who are accessible for extended hours on weekdays and on Sundays.
The basic LLC services are included with ZenBusiness’ free option, but if you need more sophisticated options, you’ll have to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
It does not offer registered agent services without a yearly fee of $199. That starts the first year of your contract, even though you could save almost $200 by switching to a different provider that offers free registered agent service for the first year.
There’s no small business support, either. Common customer support issues (such as password changes or updates to billing information) are handled swiftly and effectively by its agents, but they can’t help you with your logistics and HR issues, or offer you tax advice.
ZenBusiness is a decent choice for the bare essentials, and it only costs $0 (plus state fees). By choosing this provider, you can rest assured that your paperwork will be properly filled out, a business name availability check will be performed, and your documents will be submitted on your behalf.
The registered agent service will cost a little more, but it comes with worry-free compliance and a 100% accuracy guarantee that should put your mind at ease.
If you only want essential LLC services, visit ZenBusiness’ website to learn more about its plans.
3. Harbor Compliance: 7.15/10 (Best Premium LLC Service)
Harbor Compliance provide all the basic services you need to establish your Virginia LLC, including assistance with preparing and filing your articles of organization, a business name and address in Virginia, an operating agreement template, assistance with applying for an EIN, and a free year of registered agent service (valued at $99/year).
Harbor Compliance’s best feature, however, is its customer support team. Instead of calling a customer support hotline or sending an anonymous email, Harbor Compliance connects you with a personal representative who understands the challenges you face and provides credible advice that suits your situation.
The only problem with Harbor Compliance is its price. Its basic formation package goes for $399 while its Compliance package costs $799. This makes it more than eight times the cost of Northwest.
Despite being expensive, Harbor Compliance offers great LLC formation services and reliable customer support services. Therefore, if you are willing to pay $399 for a personal service guide who will walk you through your business journey, visit Harbor Compliance today.
4. Rocket Lawyer
Rocket Lawyer is a legal services provider in Virginia that also provides very basic LLC services such as online access to your important documents and assistance with filing your articles of organization.
Considering Rocket Lawyer charges $99 for these basic services, you are better off trusting Northwest with your money. If you want to learn about Rocket Lawyer’s services, read my full Rocket Lawyer review.
5. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings is a fairly new LLC formation service that launched in 2012. It has a $49 basic package that includes services like an online portal to store your important files, assistance with filing your articles of organization, a 30-minute business tax consultation, and a free year of business domain name registration.
Swyft Filings doesn’t include a free year of its Virginia registered agent service. For that, you pay $149 per year. This is considerably more expensive than Northwest’s price, which is why Swyft Filings are fifth on my list.
However, it’s still a reputable company with reliable services. For more information, read my Swyft Filings review.
MyCompanyWorks charges $79 for its basic package. This package includes assistance with preparing your articles of organization, compliance alerts, and online access to your most important documents.
I should note that it has an average rating of 4.9/5 out of 3,500 online reviews.
The major drawback is that it doesn't provide a free year of Virginia registered agent service in its basic package. For that, you’ll have to upgrade to the $279 premium package. Keeping in mind that Northwest does offer a free year of Virginia registered agent services in its $39 package, MyCompanyWorks doesn’t seem like such a great option.
7. Inc Authority
IncAuthority appears to sell itself as a “budget” LLC service, but on closer scrutiny, it is anything but that.
Inc Authority charges $0 to file the articles of organization with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC), but if you need extra services such as an operating agreement, an EIN, or a company seal, you’ll have to purchase its $399 basic package. Its free year of Virginia registered agent service is only accessible through its $799 premium package.
At this price point, you are better off seeking the services of ZenBusiness if all you want is to file your formation documents.
8. Incorporate Fast
Incorporate Fast has a $99 basic package that includes assistance with filing your formation documents, drafting your Virginia LLC operating agreement, and sample documents you may need to establish your LLC in Virginia.
It also has a $199 package that gets you an EIN but it does not include a business tax assessment or an online document storage portal.
The best thing about Incorporate Fast is that it processes new Virginia business filings the same day it receives the documents, which is convenient if you are in a hurry to start an LLC in Virginia and you are willing to pay extra for the privilege.
BizFilings, like Incorporate Fast, charges $99 for its basic package. This package includes help with filing your formation documents, a free year of Virginia registered agent service, and compliance alerts.
The package doesn’t include an online document storage portal, help with drafting your operating agreement, or a business tax assessment. You are better off paying $39 for Northwest Registered Agent’s basic offerings.
LegalZoom is another Virginia LLC service provider that charges $99 for substandard services. The only LLC services it provides are assistance with filing your formation documents and a banking resolution, and that’s it.
If you are looking for legal support for yourself or your LLC in Virginia, you can check out LegalZoom, otherwise, you are better off choosing other services on this list.
Other Virginia LLC Services
I investigated the following seven Virginia LLC service providers but their services are not as good as the previous 10 LLC formation services and do not warrant a full review. Nonetheless, they do deserve a mention.
Incorporate.com continues the trend of charging $99 for a basic package that offers very little in terms of services. Its only offerings are an online document storage portal and assistance with your articles of organization.
Corpnet’s $79 basic package only offers assistance with your articles of organization and compliance alerts so you don’t miss any filing deadlines.
MyCorporation charges $133 for its Virginia LLC formation services, which include processing your articles of organization and drafting your operating agreement.
14. Direct Incorporation
InCorp will file the articles of organization with the state of Virginia and it will also assist you with drafting your operating agreement all for $117. Every extra service entails additional costs.
16. Nationwide Incorporations
17. SunDoc Filings
SunDoc Filings’ $79 basic package helps you to submit your formation documents. Its $99 Key package helps you create an operating agreement while its $279 Premier package assists you to get an EIN.
The Best LLC Service Review Summary
After reviewing the 10 best LLC service providers in Virginia, I concluded that Northwest Registered Agent offers the best services for the most affordable price.
Northwest’s $39 basic package offers every service you need to start an LLC in the state of Virginia. Its Corporate Guides assist you if you get stuck during the setup process and provide effective business advice that will help you properly manage your Virginia LLC.
If you need a reliable and affordable LLC formation service that saves you time and money while you are setting up your LLC in Virginia and provides top-quality small business advice, visit Northwest Registered Agent’s website today.
* Any fees/costs mentioned represent a per state, per year outlay, unless they refer to a one-time filing fee.
Best LLC Service Review Methodology
This is the process I used to determine the best LLC formation service in Virginia.
Why You Should Trust Me
You should trust me with your LLC formation service choice because I have more experience in this industry than anyone I know.
My journey started when I decided to launch my first business in Virginia. I did not have much knowledge about how to file my articles of organization effectively so I decided to hire an LLC formation service. My first experience with an LLC service provider wasn’t as good as I expected. Its services were overpriced and quite underwhelming.
During my second business adventure, I decided to try out Northwest Registered Agent’s services and the setup process was shorter and much simpler compared with my previous attempt. Its Corporate Guides offered assistance whenever I encountered challenges during my business setup process.
When I had enough capital to start my third LLC in Virginia, I thought of choosing a premium LLC service provider and this time around, Harbor Compliance was my company of choice because I wanted to take advantage of its personalized customer support service.
My experience with LLC formation services is not just limited to using them. While I was thinking about my third business venture, I talked to all my entrepreneur friends about their experiences during their business setup process and they all echoed one important point.
There is a lot of business advice being thrown around today and the problem is knowing who to trust.
This is what led me to launch BoostSuite and since then I’ve assisted over 1,000 business owners to find the best LLC formation service to start their businesses.
How I Selected the Best LLC Service
I used the following four-stage process to figure out which is the best LLC formation service in Virginia:
Stage 1: Reviews
The first stage was to go through every major business review website such as TrustPilot, Google Business, FaceBook, and the Better Business Review and check out customer reviews for each and every LLC service provider in Virginia.
This allowed me to differentiate between those services that were genuine and those that were scams or offered substandard services.
Stage 2: Website Analysis
After weeding out the fake services, I decided to log on to and review the websites of the remaining service providers so that I could try to understand their claims and statements.
This helped me determine what services they offered and how they positioned themselves in the LLC service industry.
Stage 3: Speaking with Real Customers
The next stage was to speak to actual owners of Virginia LLCs to find out whether these LLC service providers lived up to their claims. Granted, I would have achieved this during my analysis of the online customer reviews but these opinions tended to be skewed towards positive or negative extremes.
I contacted friends who have used a specific formation service and also reached out to visitors to my website to ask about their experiences with their Virginia LLC service providers. This process helped me understand what it was like to use each Virginia LLC formation service.
Stage 4: Speaking with Their Sales Team
The final stage was to contact every sales and support department in these Virginia LLC service providers and push them for answers, especially concerning the online criticism that was meted out to them by their customers.
This helped me understand how effectively each company dealt with criticism and negative feedback.
I ranked each Virginia company through five different factors.
Factor 1: Offerings
The first factor was the types of services being offered by each Virginia LLC service.
Some Virginia LLC formation services provide limited services in their packages then charge you for extra services. Others, like Northwest Registered Agent, provide a full suite of services (such as online access to your most important documents, a business address in the state of Virginia, and assistance with your operating agreement) in their basic packages.
This disparity in the services available meant I had to start my analysis here.
Factor 2: Price
Cost of services was the second factor I took into consideration. Some Virginia LLC services charge $0 for their most basic service while others won’t serve you unless you part with $399.
This discrepancy in the cost of services allowed me to separate those services that offered good value for money from those that had premium offerings and prices but not such great value.
Factor 3: Ease of Sign-up
The third factor in my analysis was how easy it was to sign up for services.
This meant setting up an account with each Virginia LLC service on this list. I found out that some services have outdated, legacy systems that seem to have been designed in the 90s for Windows 98 while others had sleek, simple, and user-friendly systems that saved me a lot of time and energy.
This process allowed me to determine which Virginia LLC formation services needed the least amount of time and effort to sign up.
Factor 4: Ease of Use
The fourth factor in the process was the design and function of each Virginia LLC service’s website.
Some of the problems I encountered during the sign-up process seemed to trickle down to other aspects of the user experience. For instance, some services provided only blank forms that meant you had to fill in numerous fields again despite having provided the same information during the sign-up process.
Others had pre-filled forms with all necessary data filled and, in some cases, all they needed was a signature.
Factor 5: Customer Service
The last factor I used to assess each Virginia LLC formation service was the quality of its customer support service.
Some companies outsource their support services to call centers in foreign countries and others keep theirs stateside, such as Northwest, whose US-based customer support department is staffed with former accountants, former lawyers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs with a wealth of knowledge on how to establish and run a Virginia business.
This major gap in the quality of customer support services was my fifth and final rating factor.
After assessing the top 10 Virginia LLC formation services through my four-stage, five-factor process, I concluded that Northwest Registered Agent is the #1 LLC service provider in Virginia.
Northwest $39 basic package provides all the services you need to establish your LLC while giving you the best value for money. These services include assistance with submitting your articles of organization, an online document storage portal, a draft operating agreement template, a free 90-day trial of VoIP service, a business tax consultation with its in-house accountants, and free registered agent service for a year.
The Corporate Guides provide industry-leading business advice and offer support whenever you encounter challenges during your business adventure.
If you are ready to set up your Virginia LLC, visit Northwest Registered Agent today and get an 82% discount on your LLC formation.